Near Gatlinburg in Sevier County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The half-billion-year-old Chimney Tops, made of slates, schists, and phyllites, sit atop even older rock—Thunderhead sandstone, a tough, erosion resistant rock. They chimney rock (Anakeesta Formation) is softer than the sandstone, allowing rain, hail, and ice—over hundreds of millions of years—to fashion its chimney-shaped likeness.
(Left Photo Caption)
The rugged Chimney Tops pierce the forest that cloaks most of the Great Smoky Mountain ridges. The bare rock offers scant soil for plants. Only shallow-rooted shrubs and trees like rhododendron, mountain laurel, red spruce, and eastern hemlock thrive here.
(Right Photo Caption)
Notice the dead trees on the adjacent slopes? They are eastern hemlocks, killed by tiny, non-native insects called hemlock wooly adelgids. The adelgids feed at the base of hemlock needles, cutting off nutrients and starving the trees to death. Using insecticides and biological controls park managers hope to save some hemlocks, but
A steep, rocky, and rugged two-mile (3.2 km) trail leads to Chimney Tops and a panoramic view of the Sugarlands valley. The hike begins at the Chimney Tops trailhead, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) up the road from here.
Erected by National Park Service.
Location. 35° 38.315′ N, 83° 29.573′ W. Marker is near Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in Sevier County. Marker is on Newfound Gap Road (U.S. 441) 0.8 miles east of Chimneys Picnic Area #1 Driveway, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Gatlinburg TN 37738, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named The Chimney Tops (approx. 1.1 miles away); Chimney Tops Trail (approx. 1.3 miles away); Lifeblood of the Mountains (approx. 2.7 miles away); Indian Gap Road (approx. 3.3 miles away); Noah "Bud" Ogle Farm (approx. 4.1 miles away); Land of Blue Smoke (approx. 4.2 miles away in North Carolina); “To the free people of America” (approx. 4.2 miles away in North Carolina); A Mountain Sanctuary (approx. 4.2 miles away in North Carolina). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gatlinburg.
Categories. • Natural Features •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 22, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 282 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on February 22, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.
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